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USA, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Judith Helfand, Daniel B Gold

"Arguing that vinyl is the most potentially deadly consumer product on the planet, Blue Vinyl doesn't just draw our attention to the lurking danger. Rather, this enormously entertaining documentary takes a surprisingly light-hearted jaunt through Silkwood and Erin Brockovich terrain." - Variety

Billed as a 'toxic comedy', Blue Vinyl premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Judith Helfand's retired parents decide to renovate their weather board home using vinyl siding. Judith is appalled and begs her folks to abandon their plans. She hacks off a chunk of the vinyl and drags her co-director, Daniel B Gold, across America and around the world gunning for vinyl manufacturers. Like Michael Moore in a skirt, she tackles corporate CEOs, shares tea and sympathy with victims poisoned by their career working with the product and digs deep to find the facts on a substance that literally surrounds us.

The impact of vinyl manufacture on workers and the environment is horrific, an unknown catastrophe that rivals the Big Tobacco saga. Taking a personal, humorous approach allows the filmmakers to brilliantly link unlikely stories and characters literally across continents.

Judith Helfand has worked as a documentary director and producer for a decade. Her films include The Uprising of '34 and A Healthy Baby Girl. Blue Vinyl is New Yorker Daniel B. Gold's feature documentary debut after several short films.

See also...


Italy/USA, 2001
If Martin Scorsese never made another movie, he could unquestionably sustain a career as one of the greatest ever teachers of film. This is an epic masterclass on how to watch films, how to interpret… More »


France, 2002
To Be and to Have (in Official Selection at Cannes this year) follows an academic year in the lives of a dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, who are taught every subject, from math to gym, by one dedicated … More »


Germany/UK, 2001
When Victoria Chaplin, daughter of Charles, rummaged through her father's effects she stumbled across a pile of new film rolls. Revealed here for the first time, the find is Sydney Chaplin's colour d… More »


USA, 2001
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film t… More »


USA/Germany, 2002
Are you prepared to alter your diet to avoid the need for toilet breaks, thus fitting in more movie screenings each day? Do you take changes of clothes to the cinema to avoid coming home? Can you liv… More »

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